Let me begin by wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Though as I write this we’re still very much in the grip of the local pandemic, evidenced by the requirement for face coverings on English buses returning and talk of whether or not Christmas will be cancelled, I hope 2022 brings a year of greater normality. The bus events calendar seems to be repopulating once again and major industry shows are returning. Fingers crossed there’s no more disruption to our lives in the new year.

Onto events this month. One of the developments to come out of the COP26 conference was the announcement of a project in the West Midlands to create low carbon neighbourhoods. The mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said the region-wide programme would retrofit homes with insulation, green heating and offer other low carbon infrastructure, such as ‘electric vehicle charging points.’

It is a commendable initiative from an environmental point of view. It’s a proactive step the region is taking to become carbon neutral by 2041, which will require retrofitting 294,000 homes by 2026 to be achievable. Rarely do I see politicians getting excited about retrofitting older homes and communities, instead of talking about building more new ones.

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